Adam and Jack Tremlett

Twin doctors graduate from Exeter together after training during pandemic

Twin brothers Adam and Jack Tremlett have defied the odds by graduating in Medicine at the University of Exeter together.

Adam and Jack, from Ivybridge in Devon, marked their graduation in gowns at a special celebration for Medicine students this week, though a formal in-person graduation ceremony has not taken place this year.

Adam said the pair benefitted from studying together. “We’ve got a tried and tested technique of throwing exam questions at each other and testing each other. We’re the ultimate study buddies. The only issue has been that we often have to smile awkwardly in hospital, when a colleague mistakes one of us for the other.”

The twins, whose mother is a nurse, say they spurred each other on in their studies. Jack said: “I think mum’s stories of life in the NHS did inspire us. The chances of getting into medical school are low as it’s so competitive, so we didn’t expect both of us to get places in Exeter.  I think our competitive natures helped motivate us achieve the academic workload too!”

“It’s a positive form of competition,” added Adam. “We’ve both played cricket and football from a young age and we’re both Army Reservists. We celebrate each other’s successes, and inspire each other to be the best we can.”

Like their fellow graduates, Jack and Adam have faced a challenging year in completing their medical degrees during a pandemic. Both had their clinical placements disrupted, while Adam was doing placements in A&E and in respiratory medicine. “I was thrown right in the deep end, and I really saw the effects of COVID-19 on patients, staff and also on managers.”

“We’re really excited and proud to graduate,” said Adam. “After this last year, we’re feeling so ready to work in medicine as a job. These five years of study have been really rewarding, and they’ve definitely prepared us well to be junior doctors.”

Both brothers are staying in the Westcountry for their junior doctor training. “Fortunately I’m going to Derriford in Plymouth and Jack will be at the Royal Devon and Exeter hospital, so we won’t get mistaken for each other so much!”

Professor Ian Fussell, Vice Dean of Education at the University of Exeter Medical School, said: “It really has been an exceptional year for our students. Many of them have supported the NHS through covering shifts on wards in hugely difficult circumstances, supporting vaccine trials and administering vaccines. We’re so proud of all they’ve achieved and I’m sure they’ll make exceptional health practitioners and leaders. We’re delighted to celebrate their gradation with them, ahead of a full in-person ceremony when we can do that.”

Date: 16 July 2021

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